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New Further/CIM Survey reveals marketing beyond recession

13:10 on Fri, 25 Sep 2009 | 0 Comments

'The future is indeed looking brighter'. That's the overwhelming view of marketing chiefs from all across the six counties of the Eastern region who participated in our recent 'Marketing through the Recession' Survey.

The comprehensive survey was developed by Further in association with the East of England Chartered Institute of Marketing - and provides many intriguing insights into the questions we all want answered such as:

• "How have spends been affected by the recession?"
• "Will budgets be increased in 2010, and by how much?"
• "Which marketing disciplines will be decreased or dropped?'
• 'What new activities will be trialled for the first time?'
• "What proportion of budgets will be going to each activity?"
• "Which activities are perceived to offer the best/worst ROI?"

In terms of general questions regarding confidence regarding the end of the recession, the Further survey deliberately mirrored the questions of the National Trends Survey to compare views. Interestingly, businesses in the eastern region scored higher in confidence levels than the picture nationally, with Essex coming out highest of all.

As Philip Preston, Regional Director for the CIM explained, "The respondent profile for the survey was pretty robust,covering all shapes and sizes of organisations from B2C, B2B and the third Sector."

"In general it is the traditional above-the-line media, such as Press, TV, Radio and Outdoor that is going to suffer the biggest cut in marketing spend this year. For example only 5% of respondents said they would increase their Press spend by over 5% whereas 28% said they would reduce spend by over 5%. Recently released advertising spend figures would tend to back this up."

Conversely, nearly a quarter of respondents said they would increase spend on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) by over 5% (nearly 9% intend to increase spend by over 10%). A similar picture emerged for Online Advertising, Online PR (blogs, viral, social media) and Pay Per Click (PPC). Over 20% of respondents said they would try Social Media marketing, Blogs and SEO for the first time this year.

To some extent these findings reflect the uncertainty that exists among marketers regarding the Return on Investment different marketing activity delivers. According to the survey the media or activity delivering the best ROI are Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM), Email, SEO and, for those using the activity, Field Marketing. Direct Marketing seems to polarise respondents – nearly 20% ranked this activity 1st or 2nd highest ROI whereas a similar number of respondents ranked it worst or 2nd worst ROI.

However, it is pretty clear that Press, TV, Radio and Cinema are regarded by a significant number of marketers as the worst for ROI. Perhaps the old saying “half my advertising works, I just don’t know which half” is still true.

Is all this just a blip and will the level and mix of marketing activity return to normal once the recession is over? Not according to our survey.

The media or marketing activities most likely to suffer in the long-term as a result of the recession are predicted to be Press, TV, Radio, Cinema, Outdoor, Exhibitions and Sponsorship. I bet you can guess what’s coming next – the winners are likely to be Online PR, SEO, Email, Online Advertising, CRM and PPC.

PDF copies of the Results Report are available, free of charge, to Further clients and newsletter subscribers, so sign up now and then request a copy of the Report by emailing [email protected]


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